Best Practices for Raising Student Achievement
By Bobby Moore
Many states are using some type of achievement growth measure to evaluate teacher effectiveness. Growth measures or value-added data are popular because they level the playing field to determine how much of an impact a teacher, principal, school, or district has on student learning, regardless of the socioeconomic status of the families attending the district.
We have found that the level of growth that a student group experiences is not limited to the effectiveness of the teacher. Battelle for Kids is a not-for-profit organization that offers school improvement services to districts nationwide. For the last decade, we have led a school improvement collaborative of more than 100 districts that uses value-added data, as well as other measures, to provide high-quality information to inform data-driven decisions for professional development.
We have observed and recorded low-performing teachers, buildings, and districts moving from low student growth to high student growth in one year. Many of these changes have been documented by how a building or district has approached structures and procedures, curriculum alignment, and leadership.
Over the past two years, we have researched the stories and strategies behind the highest-performing and most effective teachers, principals, schools, and districts in the state of Ohio. We have surveyed and interviewed educators from the highest-performing schools or those from the schools that have made the greatest improvement in growth data over the past two years. Five common strategies emerged.
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